The National Oil Corporation (NOC) has expressed concern over an increased military presence of eastern forces led by warlord Khalifa Haftar at the Ras Lanuf oil terminal.
“These actions could result in the withdrawal of NOC personnel from the port for their safety.” The NOC warned in a statement on Thursday.
The state-run NOC said a group of around 80 military personnel under the command of Major General Abdullah Nur al-Din al-Hamali entered the port on Wednesday, June 5, 2019, potentially making it a military objective.
“The group has taken over a building within the terminal and is converting it for military use. In addition, forces have attempted to fuel a warship, appropriated meals designated for staff, and seized 31 dormitories allocated to Harouge Oil Operations (HOO) employees, the NOC subsidiary operating the port.” The statement reads.
NOC chairman Mustafa Sanalla said “The presence of forces inside the terminal represents an unacceptable risk to employees. This renders the terminal a potential military target, thereby risking the destruction of Libyan oil infrastructure - and the resulting economic crisis that would follow.”
Meanwhile, oil workers from Ras Lanuf revealed that a group of French military officers arrived at Fadeel Hotel in Ras Lanuf town, west of the oil terminal, on Thursday to help forces of warlord Khalifa Haftar.